Monday, October 03, 2005

saying goodbye...

My mother has left this earth and is now walking streets of gold...

It has been difficult for me to write this last entry. When I started this journal I had visions of writing about a happy ending. I wanted to write about the celebrations we would have when the cancer was gone.

This journey that we have taken did not lead us where we had hoped it would. As I said, I wanted to write a happy ending, but as I look back on the last nine months of my mother’s life, there was much happiness.
We celebrated Christmas as a family. Mom’s children and grandchildren all gathered in her home.
She witnessed her oldest daughter finally receiving a college degree. She danced at her first granddaughter’s wedding. And even in her last weeks of life, she attended a high school football game and watched her grandson play quarterback. She hadn’t missed a game of his since he was six years old.

In the last nine months we cried, we reminisced, we laughed, and we smiled. Mom shared so many things with us that we will never forget.

Mom was the kind of person that always made sure everyone was taken care of. She was such a loving, giving person. I’ve always been told you reap what you sow. For mom this was true.

In her last days, her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren, her two brothers, and her beloved aunt, along with special friends she had made and kept over the years were at her bedside daily. She knew how much she was loved.

When mom finally took her last breath, she was very peaceful. Her favorite gospel music was playing, and her husband, and two daughters were at her side.

When mom was laid to rest, the minister said something that I’d like to share..
He said if it would comfort us to visit mom’s grave, then we should. But we should not think of it as the place where mom is. Instead, we should think of a beautiful garment that served its purpose, but that she has outgrown.

You wore it well mom…

I will miss you…


Blogger Jeannette said...

I hope the the good times, joys, and the sound of your mother's laughter flood your memories and comfort you as your love comforted her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

12:02 PM, October 04, 2005  
Blogger Jen said...

A very beautiful post, and I know it was hard for you to write.

You were very brave for sharing your mother's battle. Please be comforted that she is not in pain anymore. She's not tired and she's not cold.

Know that your mother is with you always and as the minister said, you can visit the grave if it gives you peace, but she is not there. She is wherever you need her to be.

May you find peace in knowing you are loved by her and always will be.

10:14 PM, October 08, 2005  
Blogger Mama Mouse said...

You can be sure that your mother is with you at all times and in all places. Her grave is where her shell is ... SHE is with God and the angels .... and YOU.

You are fortunate that these last weeks were ones of wonderful memories ... ones that can travel with you till you are once again in your mother's loving arms.

I know it is hard ... I've been there ... I know. Hold your children and siblings and aunts and uncles, and especially your father, close to you ... appreciate them all the more.

And look for your mother in simple things ... a bird sitting on your porch, a butterfly flying close to you ... and numerous other signs. She IS there! You just can't see her.


10:50 PM, October 11, 2005  
Anonymous Shelly said...

I am struggling to find words at the moment. I am moved by your story, in awe of your strength, and sending you thoughts and meditations to ease you and your family through the grieving process.


5:41 PM, October 12, 2005  
Anonymous Spike said...

Holy... oh, darlin'

I am so sorry that it took me this long to check in and see what's up with you.

I am so very very sorry that your mom is gone.
I think the minister got it right.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.



1:07 AM, October 13, 2005  
Blogger angela marie said...

I'm so sorry. I may be repeating myself to you, but my mom had cancer twice and I know the feeling of almost losing her. We were fortunate that she made it. You know that my brother didn't, and in that, I understand your grief.

I don't like it when people say that my brother or your mom "lost" their battle with cancer. They didn't lose one damn thing. We all learned so much thru this terrible time and proved our love to each other. Yes, we still ask WHY, but at least we are sure of our love...and that is a lesson I treasure.

God Bless you and your family.

6:33 AM, October 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ said

My heart aches for all of you in the loss of your Mother, who was one special lady. May all the beautiful memories you shared with her be a comfort to your heart. God bless you all. Don't give up the journal, let us know how you and the family are doing. In sharing your thoughts it can help you to look towards tomorrow.

5:00 PM, October 13, 2005  
Blogger Laurie said...

I'm so sorry. When I first started reading your blog, I too hoped (and prayed with you) for a happy ending. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

7:05 PM, October 14, 2005  
Blogger Car Gal said...

I am so sorry, thank you for sharing.

9:12 AM, October 20, 2005  
Blogger Lauren said...

I am deeply touched by your writing and so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine all that you must have been doing through and will continue to go through.

May God give you a measure of His grace and peace. My prayers and thoughts are with you.


4:10 PM, November 02, 2005  
Blogger Priscilla said...

I found your blog when I was reading about cancer. My MIL was diagnosed with lung CA in April of 2005. She died on September 30. Your post was beautiful. I found it just before my MIL's service. Thank you for what you have written, throughout this journey.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

1:20 PM, November 06, 2005  
Anonymous Otto K. said...

I was very moved by your poignant, yet beautiful post. I am very sorry for your loss. I loved the preacher's words that you shared.

I am surprised at the raw emotions that this post (and your blog in general) still evoke in me. My father died several years ago from complications of lung cancer. And my mother died last year after a 12+ year battle with a degenerative neurological disorder. I think one of the hardest parts was seeing her die away bit by bit, as eventually both her body and her mind failed her over the years. I think that no matter how much time you have to prepare, the death of a loved one still punches a hole in your gut. I can only imagine the pain that you feel, but I hope that you are comforted by your (bittersweet) memories of the time that you spend with her. My thoughts are with you.

11:08 AM, November 07, 2005  
Anonymous Jon said...

I lost my mom in 1997 due to cancer.I was by her bedside when she left this world.There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her.

I will never forget as long as I live about 2 weeks before she left this world.I told her that I wish that it was me instead of her.She then said,son please don't say that,I wouldn't wish anyone to go through this.Then I told her mom,you are such a good person always helping other people and not even thinking about yourself and you don't deserve to go through the pain,but on the other hand I do because of some of the things that I have done.

Now what she said next,I will never forget as long as I live,she smiled real big,and then said,this is nothing compared to what Jesus had to go through.That was just the type of person she was,always caring and thinking of others instead of herself.

One thing we still have with us,all of us who have lost our mothers is the great memories,so we can always cherish those memories in our hearts and everywhere we go.

One day soon I do believe nobody will ever have to go through in anymore pain anymore,what a great day that is going to be!!

4:51 PM, November 07, 2005  
Blogger ukok said...

I am sorry for your loss. May the soul of your dearly beloved mother rest in peace.

God bless.

1:12 PM, November 10, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From J's daughter's son.
After a few months after my grandmother's passing, I was informed of this site from my mother (J's daughter). Words cannot describe the feeling that ran through my soul as I read and relived the last few months of my grandmother's beautiful existence. She was a woman of grace, character and beauty that exemplified the kind of person that I will strive to become. She stayed so strong until the end and only worried about the ones she loved. If you kept up on my mother's postings, S is my son and was practically raised by my grandmother as I was pursuing my education.
I will never forget when the hospice nurse made her first visit to the house. My grandmother was so strong, and it was at that point when I realized grandma was not invincible. Cancer had won the battle over her body, but her heart was shielded from this horrible disease. When the nurse asked her if there was anything she could do to make things more comfortable for her, she struggled to understand her as her mind was deteriorating as well. I was standing in the doorway when a tear fell from her eye and she said that she was fine, she just wanted to make sure her great-grandchild (S) was taken care of. The selflessness of my grandmother took a hold of me, and I began to cry...the first time I had let go and accepted all that was happening to our family.
It has been a few months since my grandmas passing, and not a day passes by that I am not reminded of this wonderful woman. I want to thank my mom, a wonderful woman herself, for taking the time to put grandmas struggle with cancer into words...and beautiful words they are. I love you grandma, and I thank you mom for being wonderful women who exemplify the true meaning of beauty.

1:26 AM, December 06, 2005  
Anonymous Meg said...

I have just found your blog and I'm going to read it all the way through. I lost my mum over 4 years ago - it still seems like yesterday. I totally identify with you when you say you want to call your mum. I still want to do that when I feel I need to talk to her. You may still feel like this for some time to come. What the minister shared with you was such a lovely phrase - is it okay if I pass it on?

I'm so sad for your loss - you have all your memories and noone can ever take them from you.

Take much care of yourself.

5:32 AM, December 27, 2005  
Anonymous Terri said...

Even though I knew the final outcome from your front page, I am so terribly sorry.
Sending you my condolences a year later.
What a special woman she was and how fortunate you were to have her. I have no doubt at all that her spirit continues to surround you. She will always be with you.

9:27 AM, September 01, 2006  

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(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.